GRANTS PASS – The City of Grants Pass Parks Advisory Committee voted June 25 to approve the concept of creating a public/private partnership to relocate River City BMX to a location within a new city park currently in the development stages.
Beacon Hill Park is the “placeholder name” for a proposed park development in the northeast portion of the city, said Parks and Property Management Superintendent Wendy Giordano. The park would occupy a section of land bordered by NE Hillcrest Drive, NE Beacon drive, and Interstate 5.
At their regular monthly meeting, the Parks Advisory Committee heard a presentation forwarded by Josephine County Commissioner Dan DeYoung to move River City BMX from its current location at the Josephine County Fairgrounds to a section of the new park bordering Interstate 5.
DeYoung said he has been in discussions with various interested parties regarding the proposed plan, including Travis Boersma, CEO of Dutch Bros. and TMB Racing, whose agreement with the Josephine County Fairgrounds to operate Grants Pass Downs includes his commitment to relocate the BMX track.
The BMX track would “pair nicely” with other proposed plans to create a bicycle pump track at the new park, said DeYoung.
Justin Gerlitz of Gerlitz Engineering Consultants said that his company has been working closely with Boersma on various developments and improvements to Grants Pass Downs.
“One of the challenges we’ve really had is finding a location for this BMX track,” said Gerlitz.
Gerlitz presented a map of the proposed park and an outline of the area that would be required to construct and house the BMX track operations. The plan places the track along the Interstate 5 border so that sound and necessary lighting could be directed away from any residences in the area, he said.
Boersma spoke in favor of the proposal and what it would mean to the young people who participate in BMX activities.
“I’m just here to share my heart for these kids,” said Boersma.
River City BMX has already had to move locations twice, said Boersma, and he wants to live up to his commitment to provide them a new permanent facility, he said.
“I want to give them a facility as good or better than they have today. A facility they can call home,” Boersma said.
Additional comments were provided by Kendra Lellis, Vice President of Grants Pass Downs, who said “real estate is pretty slim out there” when it comes to finding a good location to relocate the BMX track. The new park location would be ideal, she said.
“I’m a huge advocate for it,” said Lellis.
Grants Pass City Councilors Rick Riker and Valerie Lovelace also spoke in favor of the proposal.
The Parks Advisory Committee voted unanimously to support the concept and forward their recommendation to the City Council.